It was the worst crash I’ve ever had in 10 yrs of riding downhill mountain bikes
The take off felt fine but as I was approaching the landing I noticed I was drifting to the right and I was gonna come up short.
My name is John Rowan and I race downhill mountain bikes. This is my first season riding with a Leatt brace. I have heard numerous stories about how they have helped in crashes so I decided it was time to protect my neck. Here is my story on how it did just that.
It was Sunday June 8, 2014 at Mountaincreek Bike Park. It was the Gravity East Series race #2. I had got 2nd place in the first race of the series and was looking for another podium finish for this race. Saturday practice went great and I felt fast. All I had to do was get a few runs in on Sunday morning and then get ready to race.
I had a really bad crash on what was supposed to be my last practice run on Sunday morning. I crashed on the 45ft finish line jump. This is the biggest jump I’ve ever hit on my bike. I hit it a few times on Saturday practice and I was hitting it fine a few weeks ago. I felt good on it. I did not think about wind being much of a factor that day but obviously I was wrong. The take off felt fine but as I was approaching the landing I noticed I was drifting to the right and I was gonna come up short. I smashed into the knuckle of the landing so hard I could not hang onto the bike. I was bucked over the bars another 15-20ft to the flat of the landing. Then I rolled w the bike another 10-15 ft. I took most of the impact to the left shoulder and side. I was in excruciating pain right away. I thought I broke my hip. I was loaded onto a backboard and neck brace and into an ambulance. The EMS kept asking me about my head, neck and back. I told them I was wearing a neck brace and I felt good in that area. All the pain was in my hip area. It was in the ambulance ride that I had realized I separated my left shoulder. I was actually surprised I was not in worse shape. It was still a very scary situation. The end result was an ac separation in my left shoulder and 2 fractures in my pelvis and lots of scrapes and bruises.
I feel that I was very lucky that my injuries were not worse. I was using the dbx 5.5 neck brace w a top of the line carbon fiber full face helmet. I think that the brace cushioned the impact between my head and shoulder and saved me from any neck or spine injury. The amount of impact was brutal. It was the worst crash I’ve ever had in 10 yrs of riding downhill mountain bikes. I want to say THANK YOU to everybody at Leatt for making an amazing product.